A mortgage is a pledge of property to secure payment of debt. Typically, property refers to real estate, which is often in the form of a house, the debt is the loan given to the buyer of the house by a lender. It is a market for loans to people and organizations buying property a market for mortgages that have been bought by financial institutions and are then traded as asset-backed securities. Thus a mortgage might be a pledge of a house to secure payment of loan. If a homeowner fails to pay the lender the lender has the right to foreclose the loan and size the property in order to ensure that it is repaid.